This is part of my Mutant!AU ‘Flight of Icarus’ it fits in before the main story and happen’s just before ‘Alone, at last’.
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“Whatever he might be to you, Frank, he’s still my son!” The General hissed, the door to his office clattering shut as his Sargent reacted to the change of pitch “ You think I can just give you my kid and then turn my back! Forget that I held him as a baby? That he has my wife’s nose and my hands? That he adored Dave… and that he spent more time signing than speaking because his big brother was his favourite person.” He slumped backwards to sit on the edge of his desk, squeezing his eyes shut. “… He was my son. Do you really expect me to step back and forget he was mine?” As he spoke the sound of footsteps in the corridor faded to nothing, the base’s personnel being strictly directed away from the brewing break-down.
“I gave you years. Years more than you should have had, I gave you time. Space. That you shouldn’t have had. When Laura died you asked for more, and we gave it to you. You made a good argument and we let you win.” As the other General lent forwards elbows on his knees, Patrick let himself slump into the desk. “Pat, if you keep pushing I can’t hide it. Your position affords you a great deal of protection but being a sympathiser will get you killed. “
The silence settled heavily between them until eventually a harsh huff of breath preluded Patrick’s sharp snap,
“I didn’t care 18 years ago and I don’t care now! Where exactly is this going to go? You going to go running to the Chief of Staff? Or was it the President you were imagining blabbing too?”
“God, Patrick. I get that he’s your son but you’ve seen what happens when you treat them like real humans… John is dangerous and he needs controlling.” Frank said, Patrick watched him warily as he slowly pushed to his feet and moved to lean against the desk beside him.
“Frank, we went to college together. I was your best man, I held your wife’s hand when you were in surgery after the crash, I’ve saved your goddamned life at least twice and you’re telling me that you can’t even bend one rule for me?” Patrick half shouted, beside him Frank grabbed a pen holder from the desk and, in a flash of familiar rage, threw it at the wall. “Mature, Frank, real mature. Look, we are the end of the line, this isn’t like before when you were covering up reports to keep them from taking him. All I’m asking you to do is sign one piece of paper to make sure his name ends up on the right list.”
“You’re asking me to make an exception. Again!” Frank snarled, rounding to stand nose to nose with Patrick.
“The last one, I swear this is the last time, you do this and I… I let him go and forget about it. But I’ve seen what happens to mutants like him if they end up in the regular service.” Patrick paused for a moment before carrying on in a small voice, “I remember what we used to do to them, the way we treated them, tormented them on purpose and the ways we… hurt them. I just don’t want to imagine my kid in that position. I don’t want to be signing off on an asset loss in a few months only to realise that it’s John and that I could have kept him from that,” he paused before finally breathing, “from being brutalised like that.”
After a few long minutes of silence Patrick watched as Frank lifted the file that had started the argument from his desk and thumbed through it carelessly until he reached a blue aptitude score sheet.
“Flight school?” Patrick nodded quickly in response to Frank’s question. “Well, he does have the scores for it, and despite you being a giant pain in my ass, he can actually behave.” Frank sucked his teeth as he flipped through the rest of the file before grabbing a pen from the desk and roughly signing the request fastened to the back cover. “A back up pilot is always useful in the line of work I have planned for him.” Patrick looked up sharply, opening his mouth to start arguing as Frank cut him off. “ No, Pat. That is it, you don’t get to ask again. You never ask me for anything again, you drop John off your radar entirely and stop looking into what he is up to. You’ve made the best of a bad job but one more push or request and I am reporting you.” Patrick looked up at his former best friend as the other man shoved the file into Patrick’s chest before starting to head for the door.
Patrick took a deep breath, leaning back to tuck the file into his out tray, carefully shoved into the middle of the stack of similar files that Frank had signed off on before tripping over John’s file. He looked up as Frank paused near the door, turning to state, “ Let him go. Go home and tell your son, your real son, that you love him. That he never had a brother and that he should forget about the imposter that lived with you. Tell him to stop pissing about with political activists, finish college, join the family business and marry some pretty little thing.”
“Goodbye, Frank.” Patrick said pointedly unwilling to get drawn into another argument about his oldest son. He ignored the man stood in the middle of his office, instead he sorted through his in tray carefully ordering the files and memos until he heard a soft mutter,
“Patrick…” Patrick shook his head sharply and marched past Frank to tug the door open, gesturing the other man out of the room with a cold.
“Frank, tell Lisa that I’m terribly sorry but I won’t be able to make it to dinner on Sunday.”
“Of course. I’ll let her know that you will be out of town during our summer bash as well.” The two men looked at each other sadly for a moment before , in almost perfect sync, reaching out to shake hands.
As Frank walked away Patrick pushed the door shut and took two steps back to sink into the chair that lived near the door, his head dropping to rest in his hands as he slowly took deep breaths.